Single Leg Bridge-Ups

Hey guys,

I’m always stretching my legs but I like to work my abs and butt at the same time.  Courtesy of sparkpeople


Single Leg Bridge-Ups 

Starting Position
Lie on back, knees bent, feet flat, arms at sides. Lift left leg off the ground, let straight but knee soft.

Action
EXHALE: Squeeze glutes and lift hips, keeping them level. INHALE: Slowly lower to starting position to complete one rep. Complete all reps and switch sides.

Special Instructions
Try to keep body from knee to chest in a straight line in the highest position.

Muscles Worked: Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves, Lower back, Quads

Time Involved: 4-6 minutes

Body Benefit: Leaner legs and toned glutes 

 See a Demonstration of this Exercise
 See All SparkPeople Exercises

Making The Time

Hello world,

I’ve been slacking for a few days but here I am. I know I always talk about making time to get in the gym.

I still work to get to the gym 5-6 days a week. However, the goal is to keep up with walking and moving every day in addition and especially if its a day I’m not at the gym.

I am looking into getting an exercise ball to keep in my apartment for sitting at my desk and of course doing various exercises.

It is very important for me to always find a way to keep moving and make time for getting in good exercise!

Courtesy of shine.yahoo.com :

1. Make a plan.
“The best way to make time for exercise is to have a written plan,” says Chris Evert, 18-time Grand Slam tennis champion. “Decide on the best time for exercise in your schedule and actually enter it into your computer or cell-phone calendar as a repeat event. This way it shows up daily and there’s less chance of you scheduling something during that time.

Also, when you check your schedule in the morning, you’ll see it there and form a mental picture of when and how you’ll be exercising that day, which helps you stay motivated.”

2. Subdivide your to-do list.    

Rather than making one long to-do list you’ll never complete, divide your list into three categories, advises Lisa Druxman, MA, exercise counselor and founder of the Stroller Strides and Mama Wants Her Body Back programs. “It’s not enough to get things done,” she says. “You need to get the right things done. It’s OK to have dirty clothes in your hamper. It’s OK if you don’t read every email the moment you receive it. It’s not OK to cheat your health.”

Druxman suggests the following to-do list makeover:

  • Take out a sheet of paper and create three boxes that represent the most important parts of your life (e.g., family, work, yourself).
  • List the top three to-dos that would make the most difference in each category. For family, it might be cooking or helping with homework. For work, it might be returning phone calls or completing a presentation. For yourself, include exercise, plus something else nurturing, like calling a friend or having a healthy lunch.
  • Finally, block out times on your calendar for those specific to-dos, and honor those very specific commitments.

Having trouble deciding which to-dos are most important? “Think about the things that will have the most impact, not just today, but a year from now,” Druxman says.

3. Find five minutes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Even if your day is packed with meetings and other commitments, you absolutely can eke out five minutes for yourself, says Simmons. And that simple act of self-care has the potential to change your life. “I tell people it’s OK to start very, very small.” A five-minute walk now can easily turn into daily 30-minute walks a few weeks from now. “You have to start somewhere,” he says.

4. Limit screen time.

Don’t aimlessly surf cable channels or the Internet, says Rodriguez. That’s a surefire way to waste time you could be spending in more active ways. Before you sit down, set a time limit (consider keeping a kitchen timer nearby to alert you when time’s up).

Most of us occasionally watch shows we don’t love because we’re bored, notes Franklin Antoian, CPT, founder of iBodyFit.com. “Consider trading just 30 minutes of that low-value television time for exercise,” he says. “My guess is you won’t miss it.”

5. Be an active watcher.
When you do watch TV, make the most of it. Do some ball-crunches, planks, yoga poses, squats, lunges, or pushups while you’re watching. Keep fitness equipment, such as a kettlebell, resistance bands, and a jump rope near the TV. Or use the commercial breaks to mix in brief cardio intervals. Run in place or up and down the stairs; do some burpees or jumping jacks.

6. Delegate like crazy.

Reassess household chores: Can the kids do laundry? Can your spouse cook dinner? What professional tasks can you hand off so you can get out for a walk at lunch or stop by the gym on the way home? Don’t think you’re the only one who can do all of the things you’re currently doing. Look, too, for things that could be done less often – or that might not need to get done at all.

7. Be motivated by money.

Putting some money on the line may provide you with the motivation you need to show up for activity. Sign up for a yoga workshop, book some sessions with a personal trainer, or plunk down some cash for a race or other athletic event you’ll have to train for. Schedule a babysitter to watch the kids while you go for a run. Or take a few salsa lessons.

8. Think positive.

Psychologists suggest that actively editing your negative self-talk patterns is a powerful way to support healthier lifestyle choices. For example, anytime you catch yourself thinking, “I am too busy to work out,” rephrase the thought in more positive, empowering terms, such as, “I choose to make myself a priority.” Or, “I do have time to be healthy.” Or, “I am willing to do something active today.”

Over time, those positive thought patterns will elbow out the negative ones, helping you to see your available choices more clearly.

9. Be a hot date.

Dinner and a movie is so cliche, says Shannon Hammer, motivational speaker and author of The Positive Portions Food and Fitness Journal (Fairview Press, 2010). What if, instead, you took your date/partner/love-interest to a cycling class or a ballroom dance lesson, went on a hike or a picnic, or kicked a soccer ball around the park? Bonus: Research shows that shared activity builds attraction.

10. Do brisk business.

Chances are, many of your coworkers are in the same boat as you: They want to exercise, but have trouble finding the time. So, what if you move the weekly progress update or brainstorm session to the sidewalk or stand during meetings? Can your group hike to the coffee shop rather than order in? Can you woo a new client over a tennis match instead of dinner? The fresh air and endorphins will spark more creative ideas, Hammer says.

11. Socialize on the move.

Next time a friend suggests meeting for lunch, dinner, or drinks, counter with an active invitation. How about joining you for a yoga class or a quick walk around the lake? Instead of spending time on the phone or emailing back and forth, suggest that you catch up on the latest news over a leisurely bike ride or bond by trying an athletic pursuit, like indoor climbing, that neither of you has ever tried.

12. Work it in.
Diedre Pai, 35, is a mom to two girls under age 3. With an infant and toddler constantly in tow, she’s had to get creative with her exercise routine. While picking up toys, towels, and trash off the floor, she increases glute and leg strength by doing squats instead of bending at the waist. “I do calf raises whenever I’m standing at the counter or stove, and when I’m going upstairs to change a diaper,” she says. Whenever she picks up her baby, she does a few overhead lifts. “That always makes her giggle.”

Kids playing outside? “I get in there and run and climb at their speed, which gets my heart rate up,” she says. Over the course of a single day, Pai estimates she gets about 60 minutes of exercise this way.”I consider parenting to be a full-contact sport,” she says, “and being in shape makes me a better player.”

13. Find a cheerleader.

What looks like lack of time is often lack of motivation, so consider recruiting emotional support. “I decided 35 years ago that I would be the court jester of health and get people excited about fitness,” says legendary activity advocate Richard Simmons. “Because, when you’re excited about something, you find time to do it.”

Nominate a friend, family member, life coach, or personal trainer to be your cheerleader and encourage you (positive messages only; no nagging) on a daily basis. Or, join an online community like www.fitlink.com that emphasizes can-do camaraderie.

14. Be yourself.

Part of the reason you can’t make time for exercise may be because you’re not focusing on the right workout for your personality, says Marta Montenegro, MS, CSCS, CPT, celebrity trainer and exercise physiology professor at Florida International University. For example, don’t assume you’re a runner just because your best friend loves to run, she says. “Instead, analyze your lifestyle and personality to find a routine that suits you.”

Once you understand your fitness personality, you’ll be able to identify activities you actually enjoy, and squeezing them into your schedule won’t be nearly as hard.

15. Bring the family.

If family obligations prevent you from fitting in regularly scheduled workouts, rope your gang into other types of group activities. Schedule family hikes, soccer games, after-dinner walks, bike rides, or family trips to the gym. Let the kids suggest family-activity options.

And remember that exercise is something you’re doing for your family, says Pai. “When the kids see that exercise is important to Mommy and Daddy, it will be important to them, too.”

16. Take your show on the road.

As you’re packing for a business trip or vacation, be sure to include your workout clothes, says tennis champ Chris Evert. Just packing them signals to your brain that you intend to make time for exercise.

As for what to do? “Spend 15 to 20 minutes swimming laps, running stairs, or jogging on the hotel treadmill first thing in the morning,” she says. No gym or pool? Ask the front desk if they offer guest passes to a neighborhood gym. “Or, when my schedule is tight,” says Evert, “I do some yoga while catching the morning news on TV.”

17. Hit “play.”

“Exercise DVDs are cost-effective, private, and flexible, and they allow you to stop and start your workouts based on real-life time constraints,” says Hammer. So, for example, you can do laundry while working out. Hammer used this approach to shed more than 100 pounds while going to school full-time and working.

Try Pilates workouts from Brooke Siler (Anchor Bay), fitness training with Erin O’Brien (Acacia), or yoga with Shiva Rea (Acacia).

18. Rise and shine.

For most people, the day only gets more demanding as it goes on, says celebrity trainer and fitness DVD star Sara Haley. “Exercising first thing in the morning will ensure you fit it in,” she says. Lay out your workout clothes the night before, she suggests. “This way you won’t waste any time and can’t claim you forgot anything.”

19. Ditch your ride.

Whenever feasible, hop on the bus, train, or subway, or ride your bike to work or to run errands, says Haley. If you can’t do it every day, try for once a week. People who take alternative transportation tend to get more exercise than daily car commuters.

20. Master the micro-workout.

Whether you’re at work or home, never let yourself sit idle for more than a couple of hours, says Mark Lauren, certified military physical-training specialist, triathlete, and author of You Are Your Own Gym (Light of New Orleans Publishing, 2010).

Build in a loop around the block when you grab a cup of coffee, or plan 10-minute breaks at regular intervals to stretch or do a brief circuit workout. Throw in “random sets of body-weight exercise throughout the day. One hard set of 12 or fewer reps won’t make most people sweat if they’re in an air-conditioned building, but it will be enough to make a difference if done several times throughout each day,” says Lauren. It takes less than 30 seconds to do 15 push-ups or sit-ups.”

21. Hit it hard.

“When you’re short on time, focus on higher-payoff workouts,” says Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman(Crown Archetype, 2010). “If you’re focused, there’s no reason you can’t get results in less than 20 minutes a week.”

His favorite routines? Kettlebell swings (consider keeping a kettlebell by your desk) and slow-motion resistance training. “One female case study cut her body fat 3 percentage points in roughly four weeks with only five minutes of kettlebell swings three times a week,” he says.

The key is staying focused and maintaining a high intensity throughout the mini-workout session. For a fast and furious workout idea, check out weightlifting complexes in “Simplicity Complex” – or search on “HIIT” (short for high-intensity interval training).

22. Wear your pedometer.

“As we get older, we typically take fewer steps per day,” says Wayne Andersen, MD, medical director of Take Shape for Life, a nationwide health and lifestyle coaching program based in Owings Mills, Md. “By age 60, most people are down to about 4,500 steps. Your goal should be to maintain 10,000.”

The best way to do that is to get a pedometer at your local sporting goods store, or download an app that converts your cell phone to a pedometer. Those wearing pedometers tend to walk more because they’re more conscious of their steps.

Looking for extra credit? “Climbing a flight of stairs is the equivalent of walking 100 steps,” says Andersen.

23. Adopt a DIY mentality.

“Start doing things by hand instead of letting a machine do them for you,” suggests Andersen. This might include snow shoveling, pushing a lawn mower, raking leaves, or hanging laundry to dry. “Also, ditch remote controls and other automatic devices that undermine your body’s energy use.”

24. Work while you wait.

Katy Gaenicke, mother of two boys, found a creative solution to her “no time” dilemma. She spends a lot of time on the sidelines of football practices and games near their home in Boston. “I started bringing my bike with me and riding around near the fields while my son practices,” she says.

Evert has used this technique, too: “Instead of cramming in one more errand while your kids are at their activities, put on your sneakers and take a walk for the hour.”

25. Phone it in.

Have a conference call you can’t miss? Need to return a few phone calls to family and friends? Grab your cell phone (and, ideally, a headset) and get walking. Assuming your area has reliable reception, strive to walk whenever you’re on the phone.

A note of caution, though: Talking and listening will tend to distract you from the fact you’re exercising. That can be a good thing, or a dangerous thing. So always take care to remain aware of your surroundings, traffic and so on. The goal is to squeeze exercise in wherever you can – safely.

The Moral of the Story, don’t say you don’t have time!

First night

Hello all,

This week was action packed with packing and purchasing and of course fighting the whole way just to get the keys for the apartment. But last night my Aunt flew in and so with the help of my amazing parents and aunt I was able to bring the rest of my things to move in!

I spent my first night there! There is still quite a bit of unpacking and some more purchasing to do however it is looking great!  I slept in my beautiful new bed! I used my new vanity, my new adorable bathroom, and new cabinet.  I can’t wait to get home and unpack more today!

As soon as I unpack and charge my camera I will be uploading pictures I promise 🙂 And by next week I want to have some sort of house warming!

Golden Globe Fashion Hot and Not!

Hi Guys,

This year, Golden Globe definitely sported some hot looks on the red carpet but there were also quite a few Hell no’s in my book.

Starting with this hot number…

Hot!! Sofia Vergara of Modern Family really pulled off this gorgeous gown in midnight blue!

Hot! I’m not sure who this is but I like the lace, I like the idea of the black belt but not sold on this belt!

Hot! Although I’m not crazy about the fact that this dress looks tie-dyed Sarah Michelle manages to pull it off in my book!

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NOT! This dress reminds me of when I was a little girl playing dress-up and even then I would grab the bright pretty colors. It might as well be a yucky tarp, just saying!

Hot! Reese never disappoints and this hot red number continues to prove that. I love the sweetheart neckline!

Hot! Can it Be? It is, it is Rachel Berry! Lea Michele looks elegant in her sexy silver gown. I love the way the beautiful hem falls. I personally am not crazy for the sheer chiffon but I think she pulls it off with flying colors!

This dress is a Hit-Miss for me. I like it but I think maybe the white is not striking enough. Perhaps if the bodice was silver that would be an absolute hot!

Why does Mila Kunis looks so unhappy in this photo? She is pretty and I like the hair slicked back but I don’t care for this dress- its a Not in my book!

Look at Tina in that raspberry beauty! I take away some points for her hair she should cut her hair short or make it look fuller if she’s going to wear it down.

Hot! Natalie Portman skinny-mini can pull of this great Pink  number! Ladies with curves and a butt should not be seen in this dress as the body of it is full on the back and side. I personally don’t like it on me but it looks great on miss skinny-mini!

HOT! This dress is sexy in fantastic feathers. Love the plunging halter neck and the color is great!

Not! I love the black but not a fan of the hem! Perhaps its the way shes standing! I do love her hair though!

So pretty and feminine!

Hot! This dress is flawless in my book! The bodice is a sexy corset and the gown flows beautifully!

NOT! Justin’s fiance is sporting a very matronly gown! If the dress was either shorter sleeved, or no sleeve with the skirt long than perhaps I would let it slide! Jessica Biel is pretty but the ‘just out of bed’  hair and the dress were bad decisions all the way!

Not- Zoey pulls off the awkwardness in her adorable show New Girl but I ‘m not feeling the green bodice. It looks like grass and her bangs are blocking her face a bit too much. But I do like the  sleek black skirt of the gown.

In my book, Sofia and Kate tie winning best red carpet looks Golden Globe 2012!!

Get in that Cardio!

Hello world,

On Sunday and Monday I didn’t make it to the gym. However, I definitely got in some good cardio! Yesterday, I had a power session with Terry. As things have been pretty crazy with trying to get things done so that I can move in my apartment, I was running a bit behind in getting to the gym. After work I had to stop home to change,  as I thought I might need to meet with my relater. I figured I would be near home, so I could change my clothes afterwards. I did not wind up meeting with my relater, instead after work, I walked 20minutes home to change my clothes, switch my bag, and then walked another 20minutes back to go to the gym. Needless to say, after my workout I’d be walking another 20minutes back to go home.

I started on the treadmill for 1 mile, I started at 3.5 and ended at 3.7 on an incline of 15 and finished in 17:29 minute- Finally, I broke my 18:00 minutes cycle and increased my speed! I focused on arms, and butt today. After the treadmill I sat on a step. Balancing on only one foot while my left foot in the air I stood up and paused. Every time I stood up I squeezed in my butt and core I repeated this for 25 reps and then switched feet and again, repeated for 25 reps.

Next, I did arm curls with 10 pounds in each arm for 3o reps. I then used a resistance band using a towel in between my arms I did the curls keeping the towel even and in place with each movement.

I then while pulling to hold onto a towel from one end as Terry held it strong at the other end, I let myself fall back into a squat for 35 reps. Next I hopped back on the treadmill I had to push the treadmill to make long strides non-stop for two minutes. I then went back to squats for 20 reps.

After the workout, off I went to walk another 20minutes back home. I definitely got in good exercise for the day! 🙂

Apartment, slowly but surely!

Hey Guys,

So, I am thoroughly excited! This weekend I started moving into my apartment! The owners agent and property management have proven to both be, t0 put it simply, morons. First the property manager disappeared and the owners agent, well they didn’t do anything right throughout the entire renting process and unfortunately I’m  not finished dealing with their stupidity. I have my keys but  I don’t have a mailbox key or key Fob for into the building because, although they had over a month to have them ready they couldn’t do that properly. They never had the stuff in the apartment removed and there are various cracks in walls and lights are without covers over the bulbs. So there are a lot of little things but they all certainly add up. Once the place comes together and they do their job I can completely move in. It really is a nice apartment, I started moving in my stuff in closets but I can’t really move in until things are DONE. Little by little it is coming together though. I am very excited to put out my new bedding and find stuff to decorate with :)!